Who ought to learn
All Housing Profit (HB) workers
The Home Abuse Assist (Related Lodging and Housing Profit and Common Credit score Sanctuary Schemes) (Modification) Rules 2021
The knowledge on this round doesn’t have an effect on the content material of the HB Steering Guide.
Further copies of this round and copies of earlier circulars might be discovered at Housing Benefit for local authorities: adjudication circulars.
For queries in regards to the:
- technical content material of this round, contact:
- distribution of this round, contact:
1. This round offers details about The Home Abuse Assist (Related Lodging and Housing Profit and Common Credit score Sanctuary Schemes) (Modification) Rules 2021 (SI 2021/991), which have been laid on 9 September 2021 and are available into pressure on 1 October 2021.
2. SI 2021/991 makes amendments to the Housing Profit Rules 2006 (SI 2006/213) by introducing an exception to the Removing of the Spare Room Subsidy (RSRS) for claimants whose residence has been tailored underneath a sanctuary scheme resulting from home violence, in order that no deduction is utilized to their declare in the event that they under-occupy their property.
3. SI 2021/991 additionally makes equal modifications to the Common Credit score Rules 2013 (SI 2013/376).
4. Sanctuary schemes goal to assist victims of home abuse to stay in their very own properties by putting in extra safety to the property. The Entire Housing Strategy Sanctuary Scheme Toolkit offers additional data.
5. The elimination of RSRS, as decided by Regulation B13 of the Housing Profit Rules 2006, applies to claims for Housing Profit (HB) the place the claimant resides within the social rented sector in a property that’s thought of too giant for his or her wants. The deductions are based mostly on the claimant’s eligible lease. There’s a 14 % discount for these with one further bed room and a 25 per cent discount for these with two or extra further bedrooms.
6. As coated in bulletin LAWD4/2020, within the case of JD & A v the UK, the European Court docket of Human Rights discovered a battle between the federal government’s goal of supporting victims of home violence to stay of their properties by means of a sanctuary scheme and the goal of the RSRS to incentivise claimants to maneuver. Having thought of the judgment and the federal government’s broader work on supporting victims of home abuse, a sanctuary scheme exception to RSRS is being launched.
Sanctuary Scheme exception
7. From 1 October 2021, there shall be a sanctuary scheme exception from RSRS in order that those that qualify won’t have a deduction utilized to their declare in the event that they under-occupy a social sector tenancy. A claimant will qualify offering:
- their property has had extra safety put in underneath a sanctuary scheme because of home violence or abuse having been inflicted upon or threatened towards the claimant or a member of their family
- the perpetrator of the abuse doesn’t reside on the property – besides the place they’re a qualifying younger individual dependent of a member of the family
- the claimant offers written proof from an individual performing in an official capability
8. Claimants will want written proof from an individual performing in an official capability confirming that they’re residing in a property tailored underneath a sanctuary scheme and:
- the sufferer’s circumstances are in step with these of an individual who has had home violence or abuse inflicted, or threatened, upon them
- the sufferer has made contact with the individual performing in an official capability to inform them about such an incident
9. An individual ‘performing in an official capability’ means:
- a well being care skilled
- a police officer
- a registered social employee
- the sufferer’s employer or commerce union consultant
- any public, voluntary or charitable physique which has had direct contact with the sufferer in regards to the home violence or abuse
10. No modifications have been made to native authority (LA) IT methods so a handbook course of has been agreed.
11. A claimant might want to self-identify with their LA to use for the exemption and the place a call maker is happy that they meet the factors for the sanctuary scheme exemption no deduction in relation to RSRS shall be utilized to the HB declare.
12. Whereas LAs could select to establish and speak to claimants they consider to be in scope of the up to date exemptions there isn’t any requirement to do that and consideration ought to be given to the chance to the sufferer of home abuse ought to the perpetrator view any correspondence.
Discretionary Housing Funds
13. The suitable means for offering assist for claimants with an RSRS deduction in a property tailored underneath a sanctuary scheme previous to 1 October 2021 is Discretionary Housing Funds (DHP). Subsequently, when reassessing a declare to use the exemption from RSRS it’s advisable to think about whether or not a DHP award has already been made to assist the claimant to stay of their tailored property. If there’s a DHP award in place this must be revised to account for the elevated entitlement to HB.
14. You may additionally want to evaluation present DHP awards to Common Credit score (UC) claimants with an RSRS deduction and whose residence has been tailored underneath a sanctuary scheme to determine whether or not they have elevated entitlement to the housing ingredient of UC.
Impression on Housing Profit Award Accuracy Initiative
15. We suggest that affected claims are appropriately marked and ought to be excluded from the Initiative – in different phrases, a Full Case Evaluation shouldn’t be carried out on these instances.
Questions and solutions
Q1: How do claimants apply for the exemption?
A1: A claimant shall be required to self-identify with their native authority (LA) and supply the proof from an individual performing in an official capability.
Q2: Are you contacting claimants who will qualify for this exemption?
A2: We do not need particulars of claimants whose residence has been tailored underneath a sanctuary scheme. Nonetheless, along with this bulletin, we’ve written to LA home abuse leads and organisations who assist victims of home abuse.
Q3: Can the exemption be backdated if the claimant doesn’t get in contact right away?
A3: Regular HB guidelines of ‘good purpose’ will apply the place there are requests to think about previous intervals.
Although a claimant being unaware of the legislation change wouldn’t represent good trigger, the choice maker ought to consider any circumstances explicit to the claimant which can have made it tough for them to inform of their eligibility for the exemption in good time. Intervals previous to 1 October 2021 can’t be thought of.
This autumn: If we pay backdated HB for a interval the claimant was in receipt of a DHP award does this imply they are going to be double funded?
A4: If the claimant was in receipt of a DHP award for all or a part of a interval of re-calculation of HB with out the RSRS deduction, they are going to in impact, be paid twice. Nonetheless, that is consistent with the prevailing profit guidelines; an present DHP award shouldn’t be related to the choice of whether or not to backdate a change of circumstances.
Additional particulars in regards to the restoration of DHP awards is obtainable at Annex A of bulletin LAWD6/2020 lite.